The East Coast Greenway staff noted that we may experience some busy roadways, narrow-to-no shoulders, disappearing bike lanes and being that we made it this far no one seemed to mind. Wheels down and a few stops to double check que sheets or GPS maps we arrived at our first drawbridge crossing out of Delray. We turned right onto A1A, thankful for cloud cover and wondering what one has to do to find a southbound tailwind?
The sounds of wheels whirring, being one in a large peloton of East Coast Greenway riders and a sweet bicycle lane had us hoping this would go on forever. Somewhere south of Boca Raton where architects aspire to design homes that win accolades in review mags, something else was happening. Wet roads turned into puddles which turned into road ponds and eventual lakes and it was obvious that the waters along the ICW were reclaiming some mansion property. Fixed docks along the ICW were covered in water, and entrances to those yachts required some agile long jumping, or a dinghy. We pedaled slowly through the lowland lakes, and eventually found higher barrier island ground, and off we rode, noting the uptick in traffic.
Fort Lauderdale seemed like a lovely place to work on your tan based on the thousands of beachgoers who made themselves one-with-the-lounge-chairs in the sand. Those who were still meandering along the boardwalk, searching for the perfect spot for tanning were a tad less friendly at the thought of having cyclists share in the ultra-wide multi-use space. We crossed paths with a beachgoer — clearly shortchanged on his morning joe — who informed us our bicycles were not welcome on this giant boardwalk. In the spirit of keeping the peace, we parted ways with a non-verbal ‘bless your heart’ and returned to the bike lane.
The next 11 miles in and around Fort Lauderdale had bike lanes, until it didn’t, had shoulders until they were blocked by construction vehicles and had drivers who were late for their business meetings. We rode in small groups and stayed tight together until we parted ways with the Fort L and arrived at Jimbo’s Sand Bar on Dania Beach. Located along the ICW, the vibe was relaxed and welcoming and we sat outside watching the fierce water currents and boats passing through. No one really wanted to leave, but we had another 18 miles to go to reach Miami Beach.
We rode along some paved trails, some trails with 3 inches of sand and when the sand wore us out we returned to A1A closing in on Miami Beach. A1A morphed into a highway with no bike lanes and drivers high on sugar (or other substances) kept our muscles tense and we appreciated the need for safer bicycle travels and off-road trails. But, staying together in small groups we looked out for each other and 54 miles from the start, we safely arrived… Helloooooooooo Miami Beach!
Peace, Love, Out,
Read more: Exploring by Bike
The Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31235996
Distance: 54 miles
Start to Finish: Delray Beach to Miami Beach
Why Ride? To raise awareness and funding for the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Key West